Children learn earthquake facts

Stop, drop and cover your mop

HANNAH FLEMING
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2013
Kids' earthquake safety
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
STOP, DROP, COVER: Bubbles Early Learning Centre is teaching the kids how to be safe during an earthquake.

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Next time an earthquake strikes, the kids at Bubbles Early Childhood Centre in New Plymouth know there is only one thing to do - stop, drop and cover your mop.

In the wake of Seddon's 6.5 magnitude earthquake on Sunday, the children aged from 3 to 5 spent yesterday talking through what an earthquake was, and what people should do during and after such a natural disaster.

They also shared stories about their earthquake experience on Sunday night.

"My dinosaurs fell off my shelf," Ethan Peacock, 4, said.

Keana Wood, 4, was also left to pick up her most valuable items after her treasure box fell off its perch and spilled its contents.

Bubbles programme co-ordinator Kathryn Bosson said similar lessons had taken place after Christchurch's 2011 earthquake.

"We're trying to put a positive focus on it, because the last thing you want is for them to be scared."

A catchy tune is always a good way to drum a message into someone, and by 12pm all the kids knew if they heard the word "earthquake", it was time to "stop, drop, and cover your mop".

Bubbles staff had put a slight spin on the national slogan "Drop, cover and hold" to make it easier for the children.

Ms Bosson said you always hoped you never had to use these procedures, but it was better to be prepared.

"They've caught on really well," she said.

"All of the children understand that covering your head is really important."

Taranaki Civil Defence senior emergency management officer Shane Briggs said the earthquake did not add any risk to Taranaki as it involved an entirely different fault system.

"But I think the key is it reminds people it doesn't necessarily have to be an earthquake in Taranaki to cause damage for Taranaki."

Mr Briggs emphasised the importance of being prepared, having a family plan in place for every situation, and having survival items and a getaway kit stocked and ready to go.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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